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"Daybreakers" {Blu-ray}
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: New Line
Genre:
Horror
Release Date:
5/11/10
Special Features:

Commentary track, two hour documentary, film short

Review:

Blood, blood everywhere and not a drop to drink. Never ones for subtly (at least so far) the Spierig brothers present us with a shift on the vampires on the loose saga with "Daybreakers". What the film lacks in subtly "Daybreakers" more than makes up for with action, tongue-in-cheek (at times campy)humor and some ingenious touches. I wouldn't call "Daybreakers" a thoughtful, deep film but then there are a place for those type of flicks. This isn't one of them. Blood, blood everywhere and not a drop to drink. Humanity has been turned into vampires and human beings are on the verge of extinction. Scientist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) has been trying to find a blood substitute so that there will be no more blood farms. Edward's boss (Sam Neill in a deliciously evil performance)favors a blood substitute for the masses because it will keep his company in business but wants to "keep" genuine human blood for the elite.

The problem is that the substitue kills vampires. When a human resistence group led by Elvis (Willem DaFoe in a campy fun performance)contact Edward for his help in finding a cure to vampirism--a cure that Elvis somehow experienced--Edward's all for it because he hates being a vampire and preying on humanity. Clever, filled with action, some stunning evening photography and nice performances "Daybreakers" will never be mistaken for "The Hurt Locker" or even "Avatar" but it is darn entertaining. The writing and direction by the Spierig brothers throws in enough imaginative twists and turns to keep us ordinary humans entertained. For what it's worth there is a solid allergory here about the oil crisis, health care crisis or any number of those situations where we're running out of stuff at the core of the film. You can also look at it as pure entertainment with a bit of a conscience. I have to say those who are critical of this film remind me of those that missed the boat when it came to the talent of people like Sam Raimi when he made the "Evil Dead" movies (which were admittedly far more over the top). The Spierig brothers had clear talent and a brilliant visual flair that makes "Daybreakers" fun to look at, too. Heck, the film looks far more expensive than its budget. ---

Image & Sound:

The Blu-ray version looks truly stunning with an exceptionally crisp presentation filled with inky, deep and detailed blacks. Colors pop and the "cold" blue tinted photography of the night world of the vampires receives an admirable, crisp looking transfer. Flesh tones are often on the cool side but that's not a surprise given that everybody in the film is, for the most part, dead (or undead). ***

Audio sounds terrific with a crisp, active 5.1 lossless presentation that puts you smack dap in the middle of the action. You'll often imagine the hot breath of the vampires on your necks with the explosive sound track presentation here. ---

Special Features:

The special features are likewise terrific; we get a fun commentary track from the brothers (who clearly love doing things the old fashioned way with physical effects where possible using CGI only when they needed to achieve something difficult or to stay in budget). ***

"The Making of 'Daybreakers'" is a two hour documentary that details just about every aspect of the production. ***

"The Big Picture" is a 2000 short film the brothers made to demonstrate their visual flair. ***

We also get poster art, bonus view animatics and storyboards as a pop up feature. We also get the theatrical trailer. ---

Final Words:

It's refreshing to see aa flick as inventive, campy and fun as "Daybrakers" (which reminds me of something George Romero might have made back-in-the-day with more money or something that John Carpenter might have tackled)without any truly hidden agenda or the emasculated vampires of "Twilight". It's gorey, not at all subtle fun and inventive.

 

 
 
 
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